All Questions

16
votes
4answers
288 views

Does a host application's license apply to plug-ins written for it?

This was prompted by another question which reminded of a past experience. Consider the following: An open-source project supports a plug-in architecture The project is released under a copyleft ...
7
votes
2answers
529 views

Is there a universal definition of free software? [closed]

I was reading the question Are discriminatory free licenses still free? Regardless the merit of that particular question, one answers states that according to the definition The license must not ...
9
votes
2answers
175 views

Can I release my plugin scripts as open source if they rely on a proprietary API?

I write scripts for a commercial GIS package (ArcGIS) using Python and the GIS package software API (Arcpy). I had been thinking about putting the scripts that I create on GitHub under an MIT licence ...
7
votes
1answer
549 views

Examples of companies undercutting smaller companies using FOSS?

When speaking to my friends about FOSS, a common concern comes up that if they release their code under a free and open source license, this might encourage companies to 'steal' their hard work ...
7
votes
1answer
186 views

Are discriminatory free licenses still free?

With free licenses, one cannot restrict who or how the software is used. Suppose that I construct a license that says: If you are not Steve you are permitted to license under A; if you are Steve ...
61
votes
4answers
10k views

How does GitHub's “forking right” cope with an “All rights reserved” project?

The GitHub FAQ states (emphasis mine): You're under no obligation to choose a license. It's your right not to include one with your code or project, but please be aware of the implications. ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

Is my code FLOSS just because it is published it on GitHub?

Does publishing my code on GitHub make it FLOSS automatically? Is there some license automatically assigned to it? Is it "technically or say literally, open source"?
28
votes
4answers
1k views

FLOSS projects : How and where can I start contributing?

I'm new to the open source community. I've always wanted to contribute to successful existing open source projects. I thought that contribution to good open source projects was meant only for ...
4
votes
3answers
455 views

Can I force additional notices in my open source project?

Answering a question here put me in a drawback. In Open Source projects, it's clear that copyright notices shall be retained, especially when they contain copyleft and share alike clauses. However, ...
7
votes
5answers
642 views

Acknowledging employer in an open source project

My employer has given me to permission to open source a component of a project that I have been working on, allowing me to retain ownership and control, with the condition that they be acknowledged in ...
11
votes
2answers
190 views

Was transparency a major factor in the formation of Open Movements?

In Open projects, the source needs to be made available to anyone who requests it. As a result, it is incredibly easy to determine what the source is being used for, what each component does, and who ...
0
votes
2answers
148 views

How is Google able to relicense their photos on Google Streetview, which may contain copyrighted content? [closed]

While driving in the car recently I noticed a Google Streetview car go by outside. Once I got home I went onto Google Streetview and looked around for a bit. This is when I noticed the copyright ...
7
votes
2answers
67 views

Sharing CC BY licensed material without offering a way to be contacted

Section 3(a)(3) of the license CC BY 4.0: If requested by the Licensor, You must remove any of the information required by Section 3(a)(1)(A) to the extent reasonably practicable. While it does ...
3
votes
4answers
162 views

How can it be that using open source software involves costs?

Munich - one of the biggest cities in Germany - has migrated its infrastructure to Linux, a project called Limux. There was a lot of discussion surrounding this project. In the discussion also often ...
4
votes
2answers
903 views

What do I do if I broke the terms of an open source license? [closed]

While this question says what to do if someone is breaking the terms of a license, I am asking what do I do if I breaking the terms of an open source license? I was using a piece of software and ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I know how much of a change to make in each of my pull requests?

When contributing to an open source project that uses pull requests exclusively for contributions, I'm left wondering when a good time is for me to send a pull request. I'm especially in doubt when ...
7
votes
2answers
429 views

Interference of Software Patents with Free & Open Source Software

While visiting wikipedia page on Free and open-source software, I noticed the challenges from the template at bottom: In which Digital rights management and Software patents seems considerable to me....
5
votes
2answers
168 views

Interference of DRM with free & open source software

While visiting the Wikipedia page on Free and open-source software, I noticed the Challenges section from template at the bottom: In which Digital rights management and Software patents seems ...
4
votes
2answers
243 views

Is public domain open source? [duplicate]

The Public Domain contains works on which copyright has expired. Basically you can do nearly anything with it. Does Public Domain therefore count as Open Source or free/libre?
5
votes
1answer
52 views

Does open hardware attract contributors in similar speed as open source software early on did?

This originally sprang out of this Meta question, and then a quick discussion in chat. This question is designed to test the underlying assumption behind the Meta question. It seems to some that open ...
6
votes
1answer
100 views

What parts of the Novena are not open source?

Novena tries to be an open source computing platform. But so far it's only partially open source. Which parts are still not open source and have to be replaced to create a fully open source platform? ...
11
votes
3answers
324 views

Can I create a derivative of an old book?

Copyright for old works expire at some point. In most countries that happens 70 years after authors death. Can I take a book with expired copyright (say Dickens Oliver Twist), change it substantially (...
6
votes
3answers
132 views

Is there an institution that accepts and promotes open hardware licenses?

In the software world the FSF and the OSI both accept licenses as free/open. They also promote licenses for usage. In the hardware world some open source licenses have been created, like the TAPR Open ...
4
votes
2answers
837 views

Do open source cooking recipes exist?

Cooking recipes are often used to explain novice programmers about the concept of algorithms. There are some basic similarities to these two. So I ask myself, if there are open source programs, are ...
3
votes
2answers
193 views

What is the influence/significance of Emacs to the Free Software Movement?

I've read somewhere that Emacs was important for the development of the idea of Free Software. How can that be if it's just a piece of software? Or is there more to it? There is even a church of ...
16
votes
3answers
509 views

Does the open/free content movement lower the barriers of entry for non-qualified people?

The question Do you need a degree ... was closed as off-topic as it clearly applied to any area of development, not specifically open/free content development. This question is a re-framing, but very ...
6
votes
2answers
195 views

What to do if a software component to be published under open source license is linked with other components that are not open source?

In my case we developed several software components that work together to build the final system. Now I want to release my developments under the GPLv3 license. When checking the dependencies I ...
55
votes
9answers
6k views

Why do some people refer to Linux as GNU/Linux?

In some cases I have noticed that some people say GNU/Linux instead of just Linux. Why is that so? Do both terms mean the same or is there a subtle difference?
18
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I upgrade from GPLv2 to GPLv3?

Consider I've written a program and released it under the GNU GPL version 2. Now I want to release it under the GNU GPL version 3. Let's call this "upgrading the license". Is this possible? How do I ...
6
votes
2answers
617 views

Can voters modify the code of a voting computer?

Consider a voting computer. The software running this computer is licensed under the GNU GPL v3. Does this license mean that the voters using this computer to cast their votes must be able to modify ...
8
votes
3answers
133 views

How do I ensure my documentary adheres to Open Source principles as closely as possible?

The question Do open source movies exist? and specifically this comment made me curious about Open Source movies. It seems like most Open Source movies are animated, which makes sense since you can ...
4
votes
2answers
57 views

Are the contents of an image covered by the license applied to the image?

Suppose I have an image of a piece of paper on which I wrote. I publish this image under an open source CC-BY license on my website. My question: Is the text in the image now also licensed under a ...
8
votes
2answers
109 views

Do I have to exclude quotations in the license notice?

I want to publish a blog post under a Creative Commons license (e.g., CC BY-SA 4.0). This post includes several quotations (to the extent allowed by copyright law) from works which are not licensed ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Do open source movies exist?

I've encountered open/free (as in freedom) music, books, hardware, knowledge and naturally software. But do open source movies also exist? Is that even possible?
7
votes
3answers
1k views

How did the first Linux distribution(s) develop?

In this question I asked why distribution are more common in the Open Source and Linux environment. It seems that a) open source makes the job easier for the distributor as it isn't needed to ask for ...
25
votes
4answers
11k views

What does 'upstream' mean?

In some documents or blogs about development in open source projects, you can read stuff like 'upstream developer' or 'upstream fix'. What does that mean?
16
votes
2answers
195 views

How can I get my program into a Linux distribution (Debian)?

Assume I have programmed a cool application and released it as open source. But not many people are using it, as most install their programs through their distribution of choice. Can I somehow add ...
16
votes
3answers
191 views

Is CC BY attribution transitive?

CC BY (4.0) is a flexible, permissive license that requires attributing the licensor. What if: Alice creates an artwork and distributes under CC BY, which is adapted by Bob who also distributes under ...
11
votes
2answers
171 views

Can I quote stuff from a copyrighted piece of text and publish it open sourced?

Suppose I am writing an article for a website. I go to a website for research, and I find a piece of text I want to include. At the bottom of the website it says "Copyright website.com 2015". My ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Are there any metrics/papers/studies on ease of contributing to projects?

The resounding "No!" answer to Should I feel guilty for one off contributions? raises the question, for me, of how easily a user could become a contributor to a given project. "Easily" is obviously ...
10
votes
2answers
838 views

Does the GNU GPL 3 prohibit DRM?

Is DRM, which some spell as "Digital Rights Management", others as "Digital Restriction Management", allowed by the GPL? In other words, can software that implements DRM be licensed under the GPL? ...
12
votes
2answers
440 views

Can I leave out parts of a CC BY-ND licensed work when distributing it?

I want to redistribute a work licensed under CC BY-ND 3.0. The license summary says about ND (NoDerivatives): If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

How does one combine differently licensed code in one open source program?

I'm the author of WorldPainter. It's licensed according to the GPL v3, but I am about to include some code (dynmap) that is licensed according to the Apache License version 2.0. According to both ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

GPL v3 “convey” vs. GPL v2 “distribute”

I've noticed that the GNU GPL version 3 uses the word "convey" where version 2 used "distriubte": GNU GPLv3: To “convey” a work means any kind of propagation that enables other parties to make or ...
10
votes
2answers
898 views

Can I omit the preamble of the GPL?

The GNU GPL is very long. If I have to include a copy of it with my program, can I drop the preamble to save space?
8
votes
3answers
655 views

Does using the GPL for a program make it GNU software?

Let's assume I write a program and release it under the GNU GPL. Can I call this software "GNU software"? If not, what is necessary to make it a part of GNU?
8
votes
3answers
218 views

What methods could you use to prevent broken licensing links?

Suppose you have an open source piece of software. You decide you want to publish the software under an open source license. You spend time researching licenses online and finally you find the perfect ...
11
votes
3answers
282 views

Can I apply one license to specific users and another to others?

Suppose I am a developer. I am developing a piece of software. I decide I want to make this code open source. But... I only want developers (or people that will be using the code in other projects) to ...
25
votes
10answers
5k views

Are open source developers at risk of being scammed?

Suppose your client asks you to build open source software for them. You begin doing the work and publishing updates on GitHub, but when you finish they tell you they don't like it and won't pay for ...
5
votes
4answers
290 views

Can I make a specific line of code not open source?

Suppose I am working on a piece of software. I want to release it under an open source license. But after thought I decide that line 36 I would like to keep closed source. After doing research, I am ...

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